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About salstadt

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    Chopper Commander

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    Glendale, CA
  1. Hey guys, It's been ages since I posted. I used to hawk 2600 ideas here, and worked on the FADE OUT project briefly with Christopher Tumber: http://www.atariage.com/development_page.html?InDevelopmentID=77 I won't be so bold as to suggest a game design, but I wanted to see if any talented programmer had any interest in working on a 2600 horror title? I'm a big horror games fan (at my day job with WayForward, I directed LIT, Aliens, and Silent Hill: Book of Memories). I'm interested in working on a 2600 game with a focus on subtle/creepy horror (ala Haunted House) rather than excess gore. Although I suppose it could have both, so long as it's not JUST relying on gore. If you'd like to do somethig creepy, and you're a capable programmer, then I'm happy to supply all art and help with the design/ideas. Anyone interested?
  2. Something you need to keep in mind is that on Atari, artists are not needed. I don't see the original post you guys are referring to, but a lot of artists come to these forums with a sort of "What? You don't want my ideas and art? Pshhh, fine then!" attitude. The people on this forum can do everything that's needed, and do it well, on these homebrew games. The only reason to get involved in Atari hobbydev is because of a consuming passion for the specific platform, and even then it probably won't be enough because, again, the people here don't need artists. Or ideas. They're swimming in them, and it takes time and passion to make these games. If you're just interested in collaborating on some homebrew games, you'd have a much easier time in something like the NDS scene. Only try to find work on these boards if the Atari platforms are very important to you, and in that sense just getting the opportunity to contribute to a game should be far more important than any credit, cash, or anything else that could come from the experience.
  3. Take the time to learn the graphical limitations of the Atari system your ideas are for, then do a mockup with those in mind. Otherwise there's no real point to doing mockups, because the gameplay you have in mind might not be achievable in the resolution and sprite limitations of the system. And the best way to learn those limitations is to just look through other game screenshots on AtariAge, see what published games have done, and work off those specs.
  4. Hey, I think that's exactly why I shouldn't play it. We actually had reflecting mirrors in LIT initially, but took them out because we figured it'd make the puzzling way too organic and hard to predict. Slingshot, ala Dennis the Menace. No guns in LIT. - Adam
  5. You know, I'd never heard of that game until LIT was released, but since then a few people have mentioned it. The ideas behind LIT predate that game's release (I have an old treatment for LIT from early 2005). But no, no connection between the two. That game also seems to be more about moving objects ala Sokoban and walking around with portable light sources, as opposed to LIT where you can only set up immobile light sources to create intersecting paths. The flashlight in LIT can't actually be used to give you safe passage.
  6. ET is definitely underrated, in that it's not remotely the 'worst game ever made'. In fact it did a lot of interesting things like fleeing the agents, taking refuge in the buildings, the Indiana Jones-style multi-screen exploration, even the pit rising would have been cool if it weren't so easy to fall back in. The tree screen also had some of the nicest-looking pixel art on the 2600. I guess I'd also put in a vote for Haunted House. It's definitely well liked, but I don't see it getting nearly the attention amongst 2600 top game lists that it deserves. The balance between fear and adventure in that game with the flashlight is just fantastic.
  7. I agree, that does seem like it would work better.
  8. Top secret. It's reviewed well though (80% average so far).
  9. That's utterly brilliant! The Wii version had 'Dark Mode' where the game worked on a timer (fastest time possible). That doesn't make as much sense here, since you're moving space by space, but a move counter would be a fantastic way to essentially copy that, but more in the spirit of this version of the game. Thanks for the kind words on LIT and Contra, guys. We definitely put our hearts into both of those games. As for a LIT sequel, we've definitely thought about it and have some ideas. Just comes down to timing and availability. Primary focus now is getting the game out for the PAL market.
  10. Hey guys, I haven't posted here in ages. Lately I've been developing games for GBA and DS, and now Wii at WayForward, the company I work for. Our latest game (which I directed) is LIT for WiiWare, a horror puzzle action game. Although the character in the game controls fluid like a typical survival horror game, the game itself is very rigid and classic puzzle style. You control a teenager (Jake), trapped in his high school when it's overrun by dark creatures. You have to make your way from the entrance door to the exit in each room, in order to advance through the school and (eventually) find your girlfriend. However everything is dark and if you step into the darkness, you'll get pulled under by dark creatures and have to start the level over again. So the way you progress is by turning on lights and breaking windows, to introduce lit areas that you can safely walk into. You can't introduce too much light at once (or you'll blow the fuse), so you have to turn off lights you're no longer using (only electrical objects consume power, not windows). If you blow a fuse, all lights go out and you die, restart, etc. The game's available now on WiiWare in the US and has gotten pretty good review scores. Anyway, my theory is that any game design worth a damn should be possible on a 2600 (or similar older system), so I took some time today and thought out LIT for that system as sort of an experiment, and I was surprised by how well it fit. 1: In this first image, you see a dark classroom, the empty fuse meter at the top of the screen, an entrance and exit door, windows, and Jake standing near the doorway. Although Jake's sprite is slightly larger than a 16x16 block, he moves in 16x16 steps (in a 320x240 resolution). Every room starts with exactly 1 tile of safe light, where Jake is standing here. 2: If the player steps into the darkness, whoops - Jake dies. And the level must be restarted. 3: So let's start a puzzle. Jake starts in the room, and he's right next to a slingshot pellet (green dot) which is on a table (grey). Jake cannot walk through tables, so they block his progress in many situations. 4: Pressing the button causes Jake to grab the slingshot pellet. Notice that his 0 pellet counter at the top right is now replaced with 1, and he has an arrow pointing next to him (part of his sprite). Pressing the button again will fire his slingshot, which breaks any object in its path. 5: The player fires and breaks the window at the right, which creates a beam of light that can be walked across. 6: Jake walks the beam (his walk in this game would be block by block, ala Frogger). When Jake gets to a certain spot, a dark red spot appears next to him. This dot indicates an electrical object (in this case, a lamp) is in the darkness. This dot will only appear when Jake is close enough to use it (adjacent). 7: The player presses the button and the lamp turns on, illuminating a 3x3 area that can safely be walked in now. Note that the lamp itself i still a blocker (can't be walked through). The lamp also makes another collectable pellet become visible. If a collectable is 1 block away from the light (or in the light) it will become visible. 8: Jake collects the pellet and gets his aiming arrow again. 9: Jake walks left. Note that his arrow is pointing left. The arrow can point in any direction. The way Jake's mobility normally works is pressing any direction makes him hop one spot in that direction. But if he has a slingshot pellet, pressing in a direction will first move the player's aiming arrow to face that direction (without moving Jake). Pressing again (when the arrow is already facing the way you press) will move Jake. 10: So pressing up once causes Jake's aiming arrow to point up, without moving Jake's location. The player is now aiming at the next window. 11: The player fires, breaking a window, introducing more light, and revealing another collectable pellet. Note that a slingshot pellet will break a lamp or window (and stop there), but it will pass over collectable objects and tables. 12: Jake walks up the beam and collects the pellet. 13: Jake aims at the next window. 14: Jake fires. Note that there is a desk blocking the player's way. There's no way to get around it right now. 15: As the player walks, they pass a lamp (which lights in red, revealing itself). 16: The player turns on the lamp, revealing another collectable pellet. 17: The player collects the pellet and aims at the next window. 18: The player fires, creating another path and revealing another pellet. 19: The player aims at the last window. 20: The player fires, creating another beam. Notice that the desk they just grabbed the pellet from blocks them from moving further down the beam. 21: The player walks up and reveals another lamp. 22: The player turns on the lamp, which causes light to reach the exit door. Almost there! 23: The player reaches the exit door and the level is completed. Now let's take a step back and look at some other gameplay items. 24: Note that in this example, the player shot the wrong window. Their path is blocked, there are no more collectables, so they must restart the level to try and beat it again. 25: In this situation, the player has a pellet AND is standing next to a window. What happens when the player presses the button? 26: The answer: the slingshot is fired. Since lamps can be turned on and off indefinitely, the player will always fire a slingshot first when in a situation where either action could occur. 27: The player presses the button again, and the lamp is turned on. 28: In this image, note the player is next to a light that is keeping them alive. What happens when they turn it off while in this light? 29: Death of course. The light goes out, they are caught in the darkness, and Jake dies. 30: Lastly, the fuse meter. Note that it goes up 1/4 of the meter each time a lamp is turned on. The player can safely turn on 4 lamps, but this maxes the meter out. 31: Turning on one more lamp shorts the fuse, all lights go out and the player dies. So that's the game in a nutshell. The Wii version is much more complicated, and includes boss battles and non-rigid movement, but the basic puzzling concepts transfered over surprisingly well I thought. I'd be curious to hear what you guys think about this, how close or far it is from the 2600's capabilities, suggestions, etc. I have a feeling I'm over on colors per row, and color changes per row, but otherwise I think it's all kept pretty barebones. I don't rhave plans to actually make it for 2600 (unless someone here really wanted to), but I thought it would be a fun little exercise to see how the game transferred over and challenge myself as a game designer.
  11. What do you guys think about taking 2 or 3 existing games and mashing together their graphics and gameplay into a single experience. Pac Dug Pit Raid Yar's Adventure Stuff like that. Too silly? Seems like it'd be a fun way to break apart these landmark games and boil down what's really core about each into a new experience. - Adam
  12. Soundvoyager on GBA was essentially a game without reliance on visuals and it worked pretty well. As for horror, Skeleton+ relied hugely on stereo audio, but I can't imagine a game working that well on an Atari system beyond that idea.
  13. The problem is almost none of the core elements of the series could be carried over. As opposed to something like Megaman or Prince of Persia which can be boiled down nicely. It'd be a Halo game in name and logo only.
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